Hajime Tabata Left Square Enix on Good Terms, Despite FFXV DLC Cancellation
When Final Fantasy XV Game Director Hajime Tabata resigned from Luminous Productions and Square Enix, it marked the abrupt end of the game’s DLC development. That meant fans would lose out on three of the four expansions planned for Final Fantasy XV. But, as cliche as it sounds, every ending is a new beginning. Hajime Tabata announced his new studio, JP Games, earlier in December 2018. And during the recent Niconico end-of-the-year broadcast known as Game Industry Idle Chat #EndofYearParty2018, Tabata discussed his departure and the founding of his new studio.
As translated by Gematsu and cited by Gamestalk, Tabata stated,
I am disappointed that I was not able to release all of the Final Fantasy XV downloadable content myself and am truly sorry. But there is no relationship between that and my leaving the company… I didn’t get into a fight with Square Enix, I left on good terms.
Tabata simply couldn’t finish the DLC before leaving, and the shift in leadership disrupted development to the point where it wasn’t worth seeing through in the eyes of Square Enix. Like many job changes, Tabata attributes this career shift to his own personal “motivation,” rather than dissatisfaction with Square Enix specifically. He stated he wants to “go in [his] own direction,” without having to answer to or bother any single person or company. At JP Games, he is the company, and with that comes full-reign and freedom.
Of course, that doesn’t mean Tabata is a one-man operation. He said there are “several people working” at JP Games, although the team is “still looking for an office.” While he plans to hire more people, he intends to keep his team small in the beginning. Tabata and his team have a few game ideas in mind, but he “can’t say what they are” just yet.